When a patient is asked by the doctor to walk for 6-minutes then it is likely that he or she is asking to conduct a 6-minutes’ walk test (6 MWT). It is an exercise test that requires the measurement of the area covered during the period of walking for 6 minutes. The 6-minute walk distance (6 MWD) highlights an extent to which a patient can endure and breathe. A layman can also consider it a test of stamina.
The 6 MWT analyzes the practical capability, after-effects of therapy and to diagnose the chronic cardiopulmonary symptoms. The typical benefits of the 6 MWT include its straightforwardness, low budget, international acceptance. It is done to see the condition of elderlies, or those who are weak.
The relationship of 6 MWT is with cardiovascular diseases. There is quite a large number of documents available that talk about the importance of the 6 MWT in diagnosing the problems of lungs. It is used for the therapies to prevent rehabilitation and rheumatic diseases, including systemic sclerosis and fibromyalgia.
In the year 2002, the American Thoracic Society launched the six-minute walking test (6MWT) which accompanied rules and regulations. The 6MWT is used to check the endurance and aerobic condition in the children aged between 2 to 5 years, 6 to 12 years, adults aging 18 to 64 years, and people aged over 65 years old.
Earlier, it was launched to assist to check cardiopulmonary matters in a patient. Later on, it started diagnosing the umpteen number of ailments/body conditions. 6MWT sees the body health of a particular person. It highlights the important details of the various mechanisms during physical work. For example, how the respiratory and cardiac systems work, how proper is the blood flow, how the nervous system and muscles are working, how well is the body digestion.
The 6MWT has been helpful in curing the heart problems, blockage of coronary arteries, high blood pressure.
The patients with the problem of heartbeat, similarly those with the issue of low blood pressure, or with lack of proper breathing are usually succumbed to difficulties after walking for 6 minutes at a normal pace. However, to keep the patient on the safe-side each patient should decide their own pace at which they can walk comfortably.
Only the person authorized to do the job should do it. The American Thoracic Society has mentioned that a 30 meters distance is appropriate. The places from where the patient should take a turn have to be highlighted before. The interval measurements after 3 meters should be marked with colored tape on the floor. The following apparatus is required to perform 6MWT:
The cones should be kept after 30 meters to mark the place where the patient needs to turn. The chairs are present after an interval of 30 meters.